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How do I choose the right coin cell for my application?


BR2032 
3-volt, lithium, constant-voltage coin cell. Diameter: 20 mm. Thickness: 3.2 mm. Capacity: 190 mAh. For hand-held measurement and recording instruments, test equipment, other devices.

$1.42
Qty: 
CR2032 
3-volt, lithium, coin cell. Diameter: 20 mm. Thickness: 3.2 mm. Capacity: 225 mAh. For watches, calculators, PC motherboards, test equipment, handheld and other devices.

$.74
Qty: 
CR2025 
3-volt, lithium, coin cell. Diameter: 20 mm. Thickness: 2.5 mm. Capacity: 165 mAh. For watches, calculators, test equipment, handheld and other devices.

$.75
Qty: 
CR2016 
3-volt, lithium, coin cell. Diameter: 20 mm. Thickness: 1.6 mm. Capacity: 90 mAh. For calculators, test equipment, watches, other devices.

$1.33
Qty: 
CR1632 
3-volt, lithium, coin cell. Diameter: 16 mm. Thickness: 3.2 mm. Capacity: 125 mAh. For calculators, watches, other devices.

$1.22
Qty: 
CR1620 
3-volt, lithium, coin cell. Diameter: 16 mm. Thickness: 2 mm. Capacity: 75 mAh. For calculators, watches, other devices.

$1.09
Qty: 
CR1616 
3-volt, lithium, coin cell. Diameter: 16 mm. Thickness: 1.6 mm. Capacity: 55 mAh. For micro instruments, watches, other devices.

$1.37
Qty: 
357/SR44 
1.55-volt, Silver-oxide, button cell. Diameter: 11.6 mm. Thickness: 5.4 mm. Capacity: 190 mAh. For instruments, cameras, etc.

$1.79
Qty: 
357/MD 
1.55-volt, Silver-oxide, button cell for medical devices. Diameter: 11.6 mm. Thickness: 5.4 mm. Capacity: 190 mAh. This is the exact same product as 357/SR44. Insulin pump users: This cell is used in MiniMed 508 (and earlier) pumps and the Animas IR1000. You can find these at MiniMed's online store for about $3 each if you buy 27 or at Animas' for $2 each if you buy 12 (August, 2013), but you'll probably like our price better. We identify the cell as being for medical devices, and that is how the item will read on your printed invoice, if you order part no. 357/MD rather than 357/SR44. Order your pump batteries here, and pay with your PayFlex or MSA or HSA card, and if the card issuers ask you to justify the charge, just fax them your invoice.

$1.79
Qty: 
392/SR41 
1.55-volt, Silver-oxide, button cell. Diameter: 7.9 mm. Thickness: 3.6 mm. Capacity: 45 mAh. For calculators, watches, cameras, mini-flashlights, etc. Note: This item ships FREE, any quantity

$1.69
Qty: 
377/SR626 
1.55-volt, Silver-oxide, button cell. Diameter: 6.8 mm. Thickness: 2.6 mm. Capacity: 28 mAh. For watches, micro instruments, etc. Note: This item ships FREE, any quantity

$1.09
Qty: 
L91-2pack 
1.5-volt nominal, lithium, penlite cell. Same dimensions as standard AA cell. Capacity: 2900 mAh. If you're tired of measuring your camera's battery life in seconds, then give these a shot, because they will last two to seven times longer, depending on the camera. Also for instruments, flashlights, insulin pumps and other medical devices (if that is your need, please see item AA/MD-2pack), etc. Note: The quantity “unit” is 2 cells, so enter 1 if you want 2, 2 if you want 4, etc. (Hint: enter 2 or more, and the shipping is free!)

$5.00
Qty: 
AA/MD-2pack 
1.5-volt nominal, lithium, AA-size penlite cell for medical devices. This is the exact same product as L91. Insulin pump users: This is the cell Animas Corp. recommends for use in the IR1200, IR1250, IR2020, and One Touch Ping pumps. You could buy a 2-pack at their online store for $7 (May, 2014) but you'll probably like our price better. (We also don't require a prescription.) We identify these as being for medical devices, and that is how the item will read on your printed invoice, if you order part no. AA/MD-2pack rather than L91-2pack. Order your pump batteries here, and pay with your PayFlex or MSA or HSA card, and if the card issuers ask you to justify the charge, just fax them your invoice. Note: The quantity "unit" is 2 cells, so enter 1 if you want 2, 2 if you want 4, etc. (Hint: enter 2 or more, and the shipping is free!)

$5.00
Qty: 
L92-2pack 
1.5-volt nominal, lithium, penlite cell. Just like the L91, but in everyone's favorite smaller size (same dimensions as standard AAA cell). Capacity: 1200 mAh. These are great for “spycams” (like the Sypix Cameleon), small bike headlights and taillights, and little LED flashlights. Try them any place where you get tired of replacing AAA cells all the time. Note: The quantity “unit” is 2 cells, so enter 1 if you want 2, 2 if you want 4, etc. (Hint: enter 2 or more, and the shipping is free!)

$5.00
Qty: 
AA-8pack 
Eight, top-quality, standard-brand, 1.5-volt, alkaline AA cells, at a lower price than 3 Letters'. Of course, if you're looking for a low price, they'll sell you their Big Question Mark brand. If you're like us, you probably have bought BQMs on occasion (hoping to save a few bucks) but regretted it later. Regret no more! Buy the genuine article here and save! Note: The quantity "unit" is 8 cells, so enter 1 if you want 8, 2 if you want 16, etc.

$5.03
Qty: 
AAA-8pack 
Eight, top-quality, standard-brand, 1.5-volt, alkaline AAA cells, at a lower price than 3 Letters'. Same deal as above, but in everyone's favorite smaller size. For flashlights, bike lights, graphing calculators, micro-cameras, remotes, etc. Note: The quantity "unit" is 8 cells, so enter 1 if you want 8, 2 if you want 16, etc.

$5.75
Qty: 


      



A note about shipping charges

It pains us to say this, but thanks to current USPS regulations, we can no longer offer free shipping on all orders. At this time, no known U.S. freight carrier will accept lithium batteries for transport by air freight, and because most First Class mail travels by air, we cannot mail coin cells First Class, and we cannot merely absorb the cost of approved shipping methods. We pledge to continue our long-standing practice of offering you the best value for your dollar, and you can count on us to find the most economical shipping options available.

Another note: This restriction does NOT apply to alkaline or silver-oxide cells, which can be shipped First Class.






                

Choosing the right coin cell


Here's a question we hear often: What is the difference between a CR2025 and a CR2032, or between a CR2016 and a CR2025, or between a CR2016 and a CR1620? Here's another one: How do I select the right coin cell for my application?

A battery with a part number consisting of BR or CR followed by four digits is a single lithium cell in a small, disk-shaped package. Its terminals are the metallic surfaces on either side. It is called a coin cell because it somewhat resembles a coin in size and shape, although its engravings are completely devoid of artistic merit and its date marking may seem highly improbable. Also, it is rumored that coin cells tend to jam vending machines.

Actually, hardly anyone seems inclined to interpret the numbers as dates, which is just as well, because their correct interpretation is as follows:
    First two digits: Diameter in millimeters
    Last two digits: Thickness in tenths of a millimeter

Examples: a CR2032 is 20 mm (.787 in.) in diameter and 3.2 mm (.126 in.) thick, while a CR2016 is the same diameter (20 mm) but only half as thick, a mere 1.6 mm (.063 in.). A CR1620, on the other hand, is 16 mm in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. Note that these numbers should be considered nominal dimensions, as there may be very slight variations between brands in the same part number. However, in our experience, these differences are not discernible without the aid of a micrometer or a precision caliper. Every cell that we ship for a given part number will fit any standard socket or holder designed for a cell with that part number.

So what's the difference between a CR2032 and a BR2032?

Most lithium cells have a nominal terminal potential of 3 volts. Like other types of primary (i.e., non-rechargeable) cells, however, their voltage isn't perfectly uniform over time and use. Because of somewhat different composition, the BR-type cells yield more uniform voltage over most of their useful life, but near end of life, their terminal voltage falls fairly rapidly. Because of that, they are often called constant-voltage lithium cells. CR-type cells, on the other hand, exhibit a more gradual decline in voltage over most of the discharge period, and thus they may give somewhat longer service in circuits designed to tolerate a wider range of terminal voltage, and they tolerate higher continuous load currents. In addition to typically having somewhat higher rated capacities, they also tend to cost less than their BR-type counterparts, which largely accounts for their greater popularity.

Here's another variation: BR-type cells whose part numbers end with the letter A (e.g., BR2032A) are high-temperature lithium cells, and they are intended for applications which may encounter extreme temperatures. Their rated operating range is -40 C to 125 C. Of course, all lithium batteries are adversely affected by high temperatures, but the A-series cells withstand heat better than other types.

We don't always have BR-type cells in stock, but when we do have them, they will be mentioned somewhere on this site. If you're looking for them (or for anything else, for that matter), please use the box below to search for the type you need.

But what's the difference between a DL2032 and a CR2032?

This one falls into the unnecessary confusion category, but that's okay — we'll answer it anyway. A DL2032 is merely a CR2032 branded by Duracell. Occasionally, we have Duracell DL2032s in stock, but we don't call them that, because most people know them as CR2032s. If you need to replace a DL2032, please just order the CR2032 instead. It's always in stock and ready to ship, and its quality is equal or higher.

What, exactly, is a CR2025-WR? How does it differ from a CR2025?

We're glad you asked. It is based on a CR2025, but it's more. It's encapsulated in an insulating wrapper, and it has a short cable and connector attached, for specific applications. Primarily, it is used as the “CMOS” battery in some notebook computers including IBM's ThinkPad 600 series. Note: This is not the rechargeable battery, the big battery that makes the computer useable when you can't plug it in. This is the little battery that keeps the real-time clock running even when the big battery is fully discharged or out of the computer. So, if your ThinkPad 6xx needs a clock battery, order the CR2025-WR. If you order the CR2025 instead, you'll have your work cut out for you.

Let's cut to the chase. What replaces what?

The short answer? Not much. Generally speaking, it is unwise to replace a coin cell with one of a different type number, unless the distinction is a meaningless one, as with a brand-specific prefix (like the DL2032/CR2032 confusion mentioned above).

In particular, if the numeric portions differ, then the two cells are of different sizes, and there's a good chance the intended replacement won't fit. Yes, at a glance, the CR2016, CR2025 and CR2032 may all appear the same, and they do all have the same diameter, but they differ in thickness. The CR2032 is fully twice as thick as the CR2016. Now, it is possible to make a holder which can accommodate any of the three (there are many such holders on the market), and you may encounter an electronic device which uses one (they are found on some PC motherboards, for example). In that situation, you may be able to replace a CR2025 with a CR2032, possibly yielding somewhat longer battery life. If you should find a CR2032 already present (which is usually the case), however, it doesn't make much sense to replace it with something else, unless you have an emergency, and a CR2025 or CR2016 is the only thing available. The coin cell holders found in compact (i.e., handheld or pocket-size) products are often much less tolerant of thickness variations. Typically, they are designed for one particular size of cell, and that's it. A thicker one may overstress the contacts, possibly bending or breaking them, and a thinner one may not make a reliable connection.

If the diameters differ, a satisfactory replacement is even more unlikely. Hardly anyone asks if a CR2016 will replace a CR1620; if you have viewed them side-by-side, you know the answer to that question.

But what if the difference is chemical — can I use a CR2032 in place of a BR2032 in an emergency? Well, maybe. True, they are the same size, but bear in mind that the device designed for a BR2032 may not function well with the CR2032's unregulated voltage output. The reverse scenario may not work well, either, since the device designed for a CR2032 may draw too much current for the BR2032, and the battery life would almost certainly be shorter, besides.

Replacing a coin cell with the type recommended by the product's manufacturer is nearly always the best plan, and that usually means that you should install a cell just like the one you removed (except newer).
              



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